by Abby Dibert
This week has been spent at our internship sites during most of the day and at Vacation Bible School in the evenings.
Joyful Journey Day Camp begins on Monday and runs for four weeks. The theme for this year is “Who is God?” Each week, we will focus ona different attribute of God: Protector, Friend, Father, and Savior.
This week has been spent planning and preparing for the children to come on Monday for the first day of camp. My part of the preparations involved preparing my lesson on how God cares for us (focusing on the parable of the lost sheep), creating a poster, planning two resource classes (Spanish and Storytelling), determining songs and motions for camp with two others, editing a few of the worship songs, and rehearsing a chant with all the other counselors and the directors. This chant incorporates the main themes of camp, and is a reminder to the campers that God is our Protector, our Friend, our Father, and our Savior. I am excited to meet my squad (the group of children assigned to me) on Monday!!
The weekday evenings have been spent serving with the Vacation Bible School at Wilkens Avenue Mennonite Church. Two of the nights, my tasks occurred only at the beginning and the end of the night, so I attended the VBS Spanish Class for most of the lesson time. I was surprised by how much I understood. I have completed several Spanish classes but have used little Spanish since completing my last class in 10th grade. While focusing on familiar passages (the Garden of Gethsemane and the Crucifixion of Christ), the lessons approached the topics a little differently. If it were not for the cross, there could be no resurrection. Yes, that’s pretty basic. Obviously, you do not raise a living person from the dead, but there is more to it than just that. While a cruel form of punishment, God used the cross as the method for salvation. Because of the cross, we have the resurrection. Because of the cross, we have salvation. Also, it is rather fascinating that a symbol of suffering has become the symbol of Christianity. God can use anything, even the cruel punishment system of the Romans, to do His will. The cross reminds us that we often see God most clearly through suffering and brokenness.
Walks through the neighborhood have given us a little glimpse into some of the hurt and brokenness in Mount Claire. There’s a lot of brokenness here. There is a lot of pain and sadness. From conversations with people from the neighborhood… Drugs and alcohol are abundantly used. Some children grow up with drugs and/or alcohol being the norm, because their parents use one or both of them. For some children, they do not know a life without drugs and/or alcohol. There is hardly anything for children to do: a few parks, a wading pool that is filled only some summers, the day camp and VBS that I am serving with, and very few other options. Despite all of the brokenness, there is also a lot beauty in this Mount Claire. It is often easier to see the brokenness, but there is beauty here.
God is here in Mount Claire. He is here in the hearts and lives of those who follow Him and are spreading His Name. God is already at work here. Even if it seems dark and lost, He is here.
by Abby Dibert
P.S. The picture is from our community house.